At the start of this year, I decided that I wanted to have 21 incredible experiences before my 21st birthday as a birthday gift to myself and motivation to constantly be seeking adventure. These were the moments that made me feel alive, took my breath away, made me smile or made me cry from joy. Without further ado, here are the top 21 experiences of my semester abroad up to today.
1. Moved to Barcelona for the semester.
2. Saw the Les Misérables musical live in London.
3. Climbed the Eiffel Tower.
4. Saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.
5. Ate macaroons at the famous Ladurée bakery in Paris.
6. Returned to Chicago for the 76th Annual White and Red Ball.
7. Did yoga at 5 a.m. with GRiZ in Switzerland.
8. Had a Turkish bath in Istanbul.
9. Hiked all 15 miles of the Cinque Terre in Italy.
10. Ate at a 3-star Michelin rated restaurant in Rome.
11. Experienced Easter at the Vatican, and even saw Pope Francis up close.
12. Saw the masterpieces of Italy: Michelangelo’s David, Da Vinci’s Last Supper and The Birth of Venus by Botticelli.
13. Ran a 10k for the first time.
14. Visited the island of Formentera, the filming location of my favorite Spanish Movie, Lucía y el Sexo.
15. Spent a day completely naked in public.
16. Met a man who makes me happy. Plot twist, not a Spaniard.
17. Visited over 21 European cities.
18. Flew on 21 flights in four months.
19. Was blessed with a few new best friends.
20. Hit 10,000 views on my blog.
21. Celebrated my 21st birthday with my mother at a five star resort on the island of Gozo, in Malta.